Friday 30 June 2023

Chassis Section

A mate who was going to Newbury Races last week collected the chassis front repair section I bought on e-Bay from Reading and brought it round on Wednesday.

In perfect, refurbished condition and well worth the £100. Gives me further impetus to remove the entire chassis for a proper tarting up.  However, I spotted a complete MkII chassis with optional Rotoflex attachments (making it a MkIII) on Facebook Market for £800 - already sandblasted and primed. Worth considering - may try an offer in the region of £500, expecting to settle somewhere in-between. 

The question on my lips now is whether the entire bodyshell needs sandblasting. I thought it had received only two coats of paint in its time - originally green and then yellow - but it's now obvious that it spent some time as white before it went yellow. However, given it's only paint and the metal is sound, chemicals and a bit of graft will probably be a lot cheaper.

I took delivery of my Röhr gasless MIG welding machine last Tuesday and, of all the luck, Lidl were doing a good deal on flux-cored MIG welding wire - I'll soon find out if it's crap. Don't be fooled by the German sounding name of Röhr - it's Chinese, with all the normal lack of instructions you'd expect. Spent hours trying to feed the wire into it, but got there in the end and had a little play with it. Relatively simple to use, but need a bit of practice on some spare 1.2mm mild steel.

There's numbered a diagram showing all the parts, but absolutely nothing on operating it.

When it comes to GT6 parts, I came across Rimmer Brothers, who specialise in parts for certain classic cars. They have a large range of GT6 parts - certainly sufficient for my needs, if I can't find good, second hand parts.

Given the previous owner had made plans to convert the car to electronic fuel injection, and had bought some of the kit, I was looking at a full EFI kit online yesterday. A whopping £1,750 for an extra 25 BHP. Can't see the point, especially when it includes a plethora of sensors, which is asking for trouble when they go wrong. 

I much prefer the Mk1 eyeball and Mk1 ear for detecting engine issues, rather than a load of sensors which, in my experience, usually go wrong well before the item they're monitoring. You can easily spend £300 replacing a 50p sensor on a modern car, and invariably do. If a couple of Strombergs are giving some gyp, it's a relatively easy task to stop by the roadside and retune them.

Looking at images of GT6s, I think a Webasto sunroof is going to be a must. The GT6 is renowned for being hot on the inside.

That said, there is very efficient cockpit sound and heat insulation matting available now that wasn't available in 1971. However, the Webasto is itself very iconic and I do love them, having had them in several MGB GTs I owned.

What idiot came up with purple for a GT6? They used some very dubious colours in the 60s and 70s. While looking for an example of an opalescent golden sand GT6 on the interweb (without success), I came across a rather nice looking MGC GT in that colour.

I'm definitely going for opalescent golden sand.

Thursday 29 June 2023

The Government Remains Committed

We're being fed complete and utter crap by our Conservative government or, rather, the bunch of rapacious shysters masquerading as our government.

In the last couple of days I heard three separate news reports; one about filthy rivers, another about crumbling schools and a third about the government not meeting its climate change targets.

The response from the government?

  1. The government remains committed to clean waterways. Evidentially bollocks, with the latest news about Thames Water.
  2. The government remains committed to student safety. So why are schools crumbling?
  3. The government remains committed to meeting its climate targets. Oh yes - while issuing new licences for North Sea Oil?
Those responses are utter drivel, as evidenced by them not meeting any targets whatsoever. It's a standard knee-jerk from the 'computer says no' brigade in Whitehall.

It's no wonder the government wants to outlaw protests - they know what's coming.

Wednesday 28 June 2023


We have finished watching the Glasto replays on iPlayer and the votes from our household are in.

Just ahead of the first half of Elton John's set - the early years before 1977 - we have Rick Astley and the Blossoms with their tribute to The Smiths.

Who would have thought Astley was so versatile? In third position we have Astley again with his own set, which included a lot of his own stuff from after his Stock, Aitken and Waterman days.

Strange how we liked Astley's stuff from after his global fame days and Elton's from his early global fame days, not being that keen on Elton's later stuff.

As for the rest of the performers, I hadn't even heard of 90% of them before and won't be keeping an eye out for them either.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Open Garden Day

Badminton House, the residence of the Duke of Beaufort and the venue for the world famous Badminton Horse Trials, has three Garden Open Days a year in April, June and September. Last Sunday was the 2nd, which we decided to attend. 

Hay's been to Badminton House countless times in her youth, but I have never been, despite it being no more than 4 miles away.

Here's a video I shot of our day out:

Monday 26 June 2023

Parts Party

The fibreglass bonnet went on Saturday - a chap from Olveston came and collected it for £250 for his Spitfire rebuild, which he's dressing up as a racing Spit. Had a good old chinwag with him about classic cars - and ailments. We just managed to squeeze it into his Ford Ranger.

Thought I'd clean up some areas of the GT6 that had accumulated a light dusting of rust and got a bit carried away. 

I've ordered a 5L container of Jenolite to protect the rusty bits the wire brush can't reach. It's just basic protection so it doesn't get any worse and I may apply a coat of etch primer to keep the damp at bay over the winter, as it's going to be a very long time before I get round to taking all the old paint off, which is trowelled on and rather thick. May resort to chemicals to get the majority of it off, as though the twisted wire rotary brush is very efficient.

The bits of welding that have been done leave much to be desired and will necessitate some rewelding and grinding flat.

Then I decanted all the parts from the car's interior.

The Recaro style seats with the yellow piping are probably going to be sold, but I'll first check out the plastic wrapped original seats for fag burns. That said, original pattern seat covers are readily available, as are most parts - that's the benefit of sharing many parts with the Spitfire, which is still quite common in the spares or repair market.

Nice Strombergs! In desperate need of fettling - with care.

Loom and wiring. Might be worth getting a new loom, especially after my experience with the SL 500's biodegradable loom.

I actually have two tailgates, both in good condition, one having the glass.

Doors are a definite advantage on a car.

Rear wing panel hidden under the spare tailgate.

Various boxes of delights.

Till the car was empty.

I'm missing a windscreen, a valance, one headlight cowl and the bonnet supports for the front of the chassis. I bought a 2nd hand, refurbished front chassis section on e-Bay (image below) on an offer of £100 against an advertised price of £150, and am hopefully collecting it from Reading soon. 

I'm rather tempted to take the body off (there are some 16 anchorage bolts) and send the chassis away for sandblasting and powder coating. The shell can then be put on a homemade or purchased rotisserie for ease of fettling.

I do, however, have a mystery part.

I haven't the vaguest idea what it is. It's not a manifold though. It's a large bore pipe with 6 outlets (or inlets) having a large bore hose attached to each one. Yes, the engine has 6 cylinders, but I already have the inlet and exhaust manifolds.

Update - it's apparently an air box for the EFi, so the previous owner told me. Surplus to requirements though, as I'm sticking to the Strombergs.

I've ordered a MIG welding kit, using the proceeds from the fibreglass bonnet sale, and that should arrive Wednesday. The mega-spend has started!

Sunday 25 June 2023


Well, It's all kicking off in Russia, what with Ross Kemp declaring war on the Russian military top brass and marching up the M4. He's been very careful not to criticise Putin, but he's sailed very close to the wind.

Putin made a strategic and catastrophic error when he gave away his monopoly over state violence and allowed mercenary groups to emerge, especially one led by a former Eastenders star. 

I still can't believe Kemp fell for a face-saving deal brokered by the remaining Chuckle Brother. If he turned around before reaching his destination along the M4, I guess he must have been somewhere near Reading - probably near the Arches by the rail station.

One wonders if he or Shoigu will die from injuries sustained from falling a great distance from a ground floor window?

Putin is definitely weakened by Kemp's antics and it's rather doubtful if he can recover his authority from this. Things will never be the same again in Albert Square.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Flipping Conductive Resin

I flipped the car trailer I bought (but never used) and made a small profit. That has given me a stash to use on tools for the GT6. I immediately went and bought a smaller angle grinder than the one I have, and some twisted wire brushes to remove rust and paint. I also need a decent MIG welding kit.

Ditched the fibreglass bonnet that came with the Triumph GT6 and placed the original steel bonnet on the car. The outriggers that were taken off in order to fit the fibreglass bonnet will have to be welded back on again - they're meant to be present somewhere in the boxes of bits and the steel bonnet fixes to them.

It's not as if I'm going to be racing the GT6 and want it ultra-light - I just want originality. The fibreglass job is now on Facebook Market for £250 and I had a tickle on it last night. Bloke is coming round today to hunt through the boxes of bits for the accoutrements that belong to it. Even if he doesn't buy it, we can have a good chin wag and exchange of information, which is what it's all about anyway - camaraderie.

I must get rid of that damned dog cage to the left of the GT6 so I can lay out the boxes of bits and see what needs refurbishing. I've also got a tonne of stuff inside the car that needs coming out.

Might consider converting it to steam.....

Had an initial go at making an electrically conductive plastic with which to fill the channels I routered into the underside of the ash table top for the LED wires, but I obviously hadn't used enough graphite in the mix, as it was as conductive as a sock. I had another go, using equal weights of resin and graphite, which came out with the consistency of peanut butter and is refusing to cure. However, even in uncured form it's showing great promise when I put my AVO meter across it. It's a balance between getting sufficient graphite to provide some end-to-end connectivity and not too much such that it becomes blobby. I might be better just pouring graphite into the channel and overlaying it with resin to seal it in.

The pure resin filling the knotholes on the top surface is now standing proud of the wood surface and needs sanding down, but I'll leave the resin to set really hard first before bringing it into contact with an abrasive. 


Friday 23 June 2023

Return of the Hedgehogs

Spotted a hedgehog in our garden the other evening, which we haven't seen since we started building the house some 10 years ago.

It must be living in the wood pile near the house and was totally unfazed by Hay approaching it. It even seemed to fall asleep against the long grass, although it could have been weak or thirsty.

We used to have a family of hedgehogs living in our woodshed when we were living in a caravan, but they seemed to disappear once we built the house.

Hay left a shallow bowl of water next to the log pile, given we've had no rain for ages and water is scarce.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Triumph GT6 Project Collection

Went to Eastbourne yesterday to collect my GT6 Project. A mate hired me his recovery truck for £50 plus any fuel.

The day, however, didn't start well. I went to an Evri drop off shop in Yate on behalf of Hay, leaving the Hyundai i10 keys in the car. For the 2nd time in a month, the car locked me out. How illogical can it be for a car to lock you out if you leave the keys in the ignition? The time you want it to automatically lock is when the keys aren't in the ignition and you've left it. Anyway, it meant I had to walk home and get the spare keys, which added an hour to my leave time for collecting the GT6.

The recovery truck was a bit of a mess - a massive crack across the windscreen, no 3rd gear, a knackered  handbrake and it had done a quarter of a million miles. It did the job though.

Duly arrived at 10:30 at the seller's house.

There was a plenty of stuff to collect, meaning a lot of panels had to be strapped to the deck of the recovery truck.

It's fitted with an aftermarket, fibreglass bonnet with Sebring style headlamp receptors. I don't really like it. Luckily the original (and heavy) steel bonnet is present, but fitting it requires the outriggers to be welded back on. There's also a fibreglass door panel, which isn't really required, and two tailgates. 

Overall, it's in pretty good condition with all the serious rot hacked out and plated. What surface rust remains can be wire brushed clean. 

On the way back I did notice that there was a rather nice sports car tailgating me.

I seemed it was right on my back. Got home 3 hours later and decanted the GT6 on the drive.

I did manage to get a small discount on the car. If you look carefully at the following photo you'll see a slight scratch on the paintwork.

You might not notice it, as it only shows up in certain light......

There's also a 2nd cylinder head, which is modified for electronic fuel injection. Not sure I'll use it, as I prefer originality. I do hope there's original, 1971 air in the tyres....

As you can see, the car was originally green but received a yellow respray at some time. I want to paint it the same colour as the car below, which appears to be a cross between Sahara Bronze and Opalescent Golden Sand, the latter being a Jaguar colour in the 60s and 70s.

Here's a promo shot of Sahara Bronze.

And here's Opalescent Golden Sand, which is a bit closer to the colour I'm looking for.

That, however, will be a long time in the future. First I need to catalogue all the parts, find space for them, clean them and organise a gradual refurbishment programme. No.1 on the list is to get rid of a mate's dog warden's dog cage I have been looking after for him and is taking up much needed space.

 At least my retirement is sorted. You'll probably see this car next on Bangers & Cash once I've kicked the bucket and Hay is tired of a garage full of bits.

However, it's not the first time I've rebuilt a classic - I've done a partial rebuild of an MGB GT and a full rebuild of an MGB roadster, so I have previous.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Psychologically Important

Whenever one hears about rises and falls in the stock market, the analysts mention 'the psychologically important' figure of something or other.

I reached that last week when our annualised electricity usage went below the psychologically important figure of the 5,000 kWh figure - and is still falling.

Click to enlarge the above chart.

That represents 1/3rd of our average annualised usage of 15,000 kWh and 27% of our highest ever annual usage of 18,000 kWh, when we had my two sons living in caravans in the drive, heating the whole of Old Sodbury.

The costs, however, have not dropped as spectacularly. This is obviously because of the price hikes and, as you can see in the chart below, the disjoints are the points at which the new tariffs kicked in (note that the upward direction is low and the downward direction is high). 

That 5,000 kWh usage represents, at current prices, a £3,000 a year saving, far more than the £400-£500 cost of a good supply of logs for winter, which I must order soon, while they're cheap. 

This saving was all brought about by not using the underfloor heating last winter and not using the air-source heat pump this summer. Instead we used the log burner in winter and are relying totally on the solar thermal system to heat the domestic water during the summer. It's pointless running an air-source heat pump when I have totally free, solar thermal heating during the summer and the hot water tank being insulated to within an inch of its life, thereby retaining any daytime heat through to the next morning. On serially cloudy days we merely use a kettle to heat washing up water.

The tariff increases have really focussed my attention on electricity wastage as never before and have provided me with some salutary lessons.